There is evidence that people have been in the town recently, but they’ve all inexplicably vanished. Holliman also feels as if he’s being watched. At this point of the episode, you figure you’re securely in the realm of science fiction or, perhaps, the supernatural. That’s when Serling pulls a sucker punch that was more realistically prescient than anyone could’ve imagined at the time.
When Holliman frantically presses a crosswalk button, he discovers he has indeed been under observation — in a sensory deprivation chamber. He’s an astronaut who’s been isolated from the outside world for 20 days as a means of simulating his ability to withstand a solo mission to the moon. Again, this episode aired in 1959, which was two years prior to Alan Shepard first Mercury flight. Most amazingly, it was 10 years removed from the Apollo moon landing. And if you think Serling made a lucky prediction, you are, of course, incredibly wrong.